Monster Worldwide's CEO Discusses Q3 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Monster Worldwide (MWW)

Q3 2011 Earnings Call

October 27, 2011 8:30 am ET

Executives

Sal Iannuzzi - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, President and Member of Special Litigation Committee Addressing Civil Litigation Matters

Lori C. Chaitman - Former Vice President of Investor Relations

James M. Langrock - Chief Financial Officer, Chief Accounting Officer and Executive Vice President

Analysts

Douglas M. Arthur - Evercore Partners Inc., Research Division

Glenn Greene - Oppenheimer & Co. Inc., Research Division

Mark S. Mahaney - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Mark S. Marcon - Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division

John R. Blackledge - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Tobey Sommer - SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., Research Division

John Janedis - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division

Timothy McHugh - William Blair & Company L.L.C., Research Division

James J. Janesky - Avondale Partners, LLC, Research Division

Presentation

Operator

Good morning. My name is Shancey, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Monster Worldwide Third Quarter 2011 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] Thank you. I now would like to turn the call over to Ms. Lori Chaitman, VP of IR. Ma'am, you may begin your conference.

Lori C. Chaitman

Thank you. Good morning, and thank you for joining us on Monster Worldwide's Third Quarter 2011 Earnings Conference Call. We will have formal remarks from Sal Iannuzzi, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer; and James Langrock, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. In addition to Sal and James, several members of our executive management team are available to answer your questions during the Q&A part of the call. They are Tim Yates, Andrea Bertone, Ted Gilvar, Patrick Manzo, Michael Miller, Lise Poulos and Mark Stoever.

Before we begin, I'd like to remind you that except for historical information, the statements made during this conference call constitute forward-looking statements under applicable securities laws. Such forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties, including statements regarding the company’s strategic direction, prospects and future results. Certain factors, including factors outside of our control, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements, including economic and other conditions in the markets in which we operate, risks associated with acquisitions and dispositions, competition and the other risks discussed in our Form 10-K and our other filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission. With that, I'd like to turn the call over to Sal for his comments. Sal?

Sal Iannuzzi

Good morning. Thank you, Lori. I will start with a high-level financial summary, discuss our near-term priority, the competitive environment and conclude with comments on the current macro environment and our guidance and outlook for the fourth quarter.

In my discussion of the financial highlights, I will focus on our pro forma results and exclude arbitrage lead generation in all percentages. In his comments, James will fully discuss the pro forma items including the $17.4 million net gain resulting from the release of funds held in escrow in connection with our acquisition of ChinaHR.

Consolidated bookings increased 20% year-over-year while bookings about Global Careers business increased 22%. Consolidated revenue increased 20% year-over-year and revenue of our Global Careers business increased 21%. Demonstrating our inherent operating leverage and our commitment to expand in investment management, operating margin increased by approximately 400 basis points to 10%. We will achieve our objective of dropping 50% of the annual revenue increase to the operating income line for the full year 2011. EPS was $0.13. EBITDA was $54 million. EBITDA margin was 21%.

In the current environment, we are pleased that EPS was above the midpoint, while bookings and revenue were near the low end of our range. Overall bookings and revenue held up reasonably well during July and August, and it wasn't until the last couple of weeks of September and now into October, that the macro uncertainties which had existed throughout the quarter translated and change behavior on the part of our clients. James will give more details and the break down in his comments.

I like to elaborate on a number of our near-term and inter-related priorities. Our first priority is to fully capitalize on our recent investments in product and technology on a global basis. Over the past several years, we have invested to successfully upgrade our product offerings. Now our primary objective is to ensure that we are using that broad and refreshed product portfolio to maximize benefit of our clients and that we continue to win an increasing share of our clients' business. PRS and CAN continue to gain traction on a global basis and are very important in helping us retain and win new clients. No competitor on a global basis offers the equivalent products.

As you know, last quarter we launched SeeMore, a cloud-based service which allows our clients to use our patented system technology to manage their entire talent pool, regardless of the source. This unique product is receiving significant interest. We have closed a number of deals and are building a substantial pipeline.

BeKnown, our professional networking Facebook app, is steadily gaining momentum. While it's still early, we are pleased with the adoption we are seeing and by the reviews the application has received in the market. BeKnown has won a number of awards, including being named one of the top products of the year by HR Executive Magazine.

The second priority is to continue to gain share. While I've been in Monster, the competitive environment has been intense on a global basis. While it is impossible to point to one figure, to conclusively prove our share gains, we triangulate the data in several different ways including a comparison of our recent bookings and revenue gains compared to our estimate of our competitors' growth. All metrics support our conclusions that we are gaining global share.

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